Tuesday, 6 May 2014

Luscious Locks with Leonor Greyl

I think I speak for every girl when I say I spend an awful amount of time trying to find the ultimate hair care products. We all put our hair through an awful lot, whether it's blow-drying, straightening, dyeing/bleaching, exposure to the sun or even sea water. 

For those of you who have been reading my previous posts, you'll know that I have recently bleached the ends of my hair to create a fiery ombre look. I'm absolutely in love with it, but the amount of TLC my hair now needs has increase massively. 

There's no way of bleaching your hair without doing it damage, so the sooner you can restore your hair with the moisture and nutrients it needs, the better. 

These samples from Leonor Greyl came at the best possible time, when other products I'd tried weren't making my hair any healthier, and my ends were starting to look a bit like hay. 

Hair products are one of my favourites to review, mainly because when I discover a product that works for me, I feel like I've found hidden treasure, and I am extremely happy to say that this was the case with Leonor Greyl. 

I informed them that my hair was thick, dyed and damaged, and in response they sent me Eclat Naturel; a styling cream for dry hair (top right in reference to picture above), Shampooing Reviviscence; a deep repairing shampoo for coloured, dehydrated, damaged and brittle hair (top left), and Huile de Leonor Greyl;  a pre-shampoo treatment (bottom). 

I'm going to talk about the shampoo first because as far as I'm concerned, it's pure magic. This shampoo uses amaranth extracts which is rich in vitamins B &C to moisturize and condition, and Sea Lavender which is full of amino acids to hydrate and also prevent static electricity, so this is perfect if you're prone to frizz like me. 

I'm going to get a bit sciencey now - this shampoo works to repair your hair's lipid barrier. Basically, lipids are fats that coat your hair with an emulsion to keep it hydrated and in optimum condition. The outer surface of the hair is naturally replenished of lipids as well as keratin, which forms to create a barrier. All this contributes to the hair's elasticity. This barrier can begin to degrade as a result of common grooming practices. These are of course the bare basics of lipids and the barrier, but I feel part of finding your perfect hair treatment is to understand what it actually does. So...this shampoo basically restores the integrity of the surface of the hair. 

After using this shampoo, my hair was softer, shinier, and more manageable than I thought it was possible for bleached hair to be. The only negative I could find, if I was pushed to find one, would be that the floral smell of the shampoo is very strong, but that's only straight from the bottle. It's nowhere near as strong once your hair is dry, and  I am biased, as I'm not a big fan of floral scents. But if any of you out there are struggling with your dry or damaged hair, the shampoo alone I cannot recommend enough. 

The Huile de Leonor Greyl is a de-tangling, softening and protective pre-shampoo treatment for length and ends. Packed full of botanical oils, this product helps to protects your hair from the damaging effects of the sun, seawater, and chlorinated pool water, so this is a holiday must-have. 
I was very confused at first when attempting to use this product as to how I was supposed to get the waxy product out of the glass bottle, but the more I pondered, the warmer the bottle got in my hands, and the wax slowly started to melt into an oil. 

Confusion over, first time round I left the oil on for the recommended ten minutes, washed off and followed it with the shampoo. I think my hair was too dry at this point for ten minutes to be enough, because I didn't notice much difference, but second time round I left it on over night. I woke up with mega crispy hair, but once I washed it off, I think I may have made a noise similar to that on the Herbal Essences advert. The combination of this and the shampoo is perfect. It's literally as if they glued my split ends back together. 

The phrase less is more really applies to this product. Full of shea butter, jojoba oil and vitamins, this also protects your hair from the sun, as well as nourishing and reconditioning your dry hair. It's the kind of product you carry around in your bag for whenever you need a moisture top up; like hand cream for the hair. 

My first try of this resulted in mega greasy ends. In my desperation to rid myself of dry ends went in quite heavy handed. This is a treatment where just like shine serums, an amount the size of a pea, run through the ends of your hair with the tips of your fingers is enough. Any more and you will end up with thick greasy strands, and that's a look no one can pull off. 

So, for a brand I'd never tried or heard of before, I was more than pleasantly surprised. I am now a huge fan of Leonor Greyl, and I guarantee, within one try of their shampoo, you will be too. 

Steph x x x 


Thursday, 1 May 2014

Skulls and Daisies with the Balagan Group 2013/14 Collection

So the lovely people at the Balagan Group were kind enough to send me a selection of pieces from their 2013/14 collection. 
One thing I love about the Balagan group is that all of their jewellery is hand made. It's so refreshing to hear about a brand like this, in among a sea of products made by machines or made abroad. 
If that wasn't enough, the Balagan group's philosophy is 'Jewellery for self-expression.' 
I couldn't agree more. 
With statement jewellery being the trend of the season right now, more than ever we're looking at how necklaces, rings, bracelets, earrings and even head pieces can express our own unique identity, whether it's your mood, your passions or your style. 

Balagan means 'chaos', and even though there's such a huge selection of jewellery to choose from in this collection, there was no chaos involved in choosing the pieces that I thought would help express me and my style. 

As you can see, the collection varies dramatically from one piece to the next. 
My ultimate favorite is the Silver Holly Leaf necklace from the Blowing in the Wind collection. The leaf pendant itself is gorgeous, but I also love the delicate silver chain with tiny rings placed along it. 

I've also had many complements on the interlocking ring, just because it's so different. Usually I like to wear a lot of rings on one hand, but I think this ring looks perfect by itself. 

The skull pieces I chose because I thought they were incredible cute, with just enough grungy essence to suit my own personal style. The earrings are tiny, but look really good mixed with a selection of other earrings on the ear where I have multiple piercings, and the droop earrings are perfect for a night out, adding just a touch of glamour. They're the kind of earrings that annoyingly leave people starring for ages at your ear as they try and figure out what they are. 

With daisies being SO on trend at the moment,  I felt like I had no choice but to request the earrings and necklace. They're so delicate and simple, but add a little bit of kitsch to an outfit.You can also never go wrong with floral earrings really. 

Lastly, but certainly not least are the Opal earrings. I chose these simple because of the colour. Pastels and brights are massively on trend at the moment, and I couldn't help but feel that these were the best of both worlds. I adore how the colours change in the light, and considering I have a very monochrome based wardrobe (a habit I'm trying very hard to break) these are a perfect addition of colour. 

At the moment, the Balagan group is just a wholesale jewellery supplier, BUT as we speak they are in the process of setting up an online retail store called the Karma Cafe, so as of yet, these products aren't available for purchase, but watch this space. 

Let me know what you think of the products, and if you've come across any amazing jewellery brands lately. 
Steph x x x